Dove with Branch
October 2, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, Dear Dean, My best friend and roommate has recently started a relationship with someone who I do not approve of. He has a prominent drinking habit and has at least three Minor in Possession charges, not to mention several other bad habits. She has recently changed her behavior; she stays out until 3:00, sometimes 4:00 AM, when she and I both have class the next day. Before she started the relationship, she asked me for my opinion several times and I told her that I do not approve of him because I think he makes a lot of bad choices and is very careless and irresponsible. Despite my obvious expression of concern (upon her request), she has now become fairly serious with him. Why does she ask for my advice if she doesn't care what I have to say? – Confused College Student

Dear Confused College Student, Just because she doesn’t take your advice doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hear it. Your roommate asked for your advice, not your direction. Your advice is something that she wished to consider in making a decision and she did not expect it was given with the requirement that she had to follow it. It seems that the larger problem is that you do not approve of her present life style choices. She should be free to make those choices, even if they seem inappropriate to you. Honor and accept her choices anyway. If you are unable to enjoy the relationship with her, do what you can to find a new roommate and what you can to maintain the friendship with your present one. – the Dean

Dear Dean, I have a friend who always has to be right. If she makes a statement she will defend it as true when it is easy for everyone else to se that it is wrong. She refuses to change her mind no matter what I say or do. How can I get her to stop being that way? - Talking to the Wall

Dear Talking to the Wall, Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? As a friend you can let her know that she is doing this, and how other people react to her. But as a friend you can also just accept this and allow her to be wrong without argument when you know it is fruitless to do so. Just loving her for her quirky little ways could make life more fun for you. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, or visit to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

It is proper and fitting for us to have moral laws in our society. If we did not do this, then we would be able to treat each other in any way we feel fit. For instance, if we felt it was justified to shoot someone who injured someone in our family in any way, and there was no law against it we would do it. In order to have peace in our society we must have common agreement on what is right and wrong.

A problem comes about when we decide what is right or wrong in our society must also be right or wrong in all societies. We have equal rights; now everyone must. We have democratic government; now everyone must. We do not allow age, gender or religious discrimination in the workplace; now everyone must. Perhaps these are good laws, but who is to decide that when others disagree?

There is a way that we can do that peacefully. We can create a world governing body that can decide those issues. We have a governing body now, the “United Nations.” However, we do not allow it settle those issues because we are afraid we may disagree with the rules created. Until we come together as a world body and agree to resolve these issues -decide when we must agree and when we are allowed to disagree – we will never experience a peaceful world society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If you don’t want to be angry at the world and the way it works, then you need to make your world one of preferences. You can think: “This is the way I would like the world to be.” And, “I will work to make the world the way I want it to be.” And, “I enjoy doing this, this is my bliss, this is my way to change the world.”

On the other hand, you could choose to carry a heavy negative charge on your emotions by thinking, “If the world isn’t the way I want it to be, it is wrong.” One of the keys to erasing anger from your life is, to delete the “musts” in your picture of the world. Be ready to accept the world for what it is. You can work to change the world when you are in disagreement with it, but accept it as it is for now.

Think of it as a world that you have a chance to improve, because you have a wonderful vision about how it could and should be. If you choose as your bliss working to make the world a better place, you will be better equipped to succeed by having a greater understanding of both yourself and the world.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about other people in the world, and why they think differently than I do. I try to put myself in their shoes.

Tuesday: I accept the idea that it is okay for others to have different values than I do.

Wednesday: Today I think about the things in the world that I would like to be different.

Thursday: Today I think about which of the things in the world that I want to become involved in changing.

Friday: Today I select the things in the world that I am going to work to change.

Saturday: Today I think about what I must learn in order help create meaningful change.

Sunday: Today I become involved in creating meaningful change in my world.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at:

Additional Notes

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My Phone Seminar for this week is: Figuring Out What Makes Me Tick

Learn why you do the things you do. In this seminar you will learn how identify the things that make you upset and how to make changes so that they will no longer upset you.

You can schedule a phone seminar for the days offered. You can schedule them at your convenience for any day Monday through Thursday between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM Pacific Time by calling 800-359-6015 or e-mailing at least 24 hours in advance to arrange a scheduled time.

The price is $15.00 for a one hour seminar. If you subscribe to my free newsletter “Insights from the Dean of Peace” you are entitled to two free phone seminars to use at your convenience.

Past issues of this newsletter for the year 2006 are archived on my website.

Remember if you want the free e- book and phone seminars you must subscribe to this newsletter at the website.

I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to


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phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
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Dean Of Peace | P.O. Box 535 | Elmira | OR | 97437